Corn pone humor, farmers’ daughters and all the great country crooners: “Hee Haw” returns on a 14-disc box set

Whoever knew? Hee Haw was inspired by Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In the major difference being that the countrified series was far less political and topical, focusing on country music and rural culture. And it was just as funny . . . as well as also being  known for its voluptuous, scantily-clad women in stereotypical farmer’s daughter outfits and revealing minidresses.

Pickin’ and grinnin’, singin’ and spinnin’ tall tales and corny jokes, the citizens of Kornfield Kounty landed on television in 1969 with the arrival of Hee Haw as a summer replacement series for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.  With a cast of down-to-earth characters including Minnie Pearl, Grandpa Jones and Archie Campbell, knee-slapping comedic zingers and jaw-dropping musical performances, the comedy-variety show, co-hosted by Buck Owens and Roy Clark, captivated the country.  In 1971, after two successful years, CBS dropped the show in an effort to “de-countrify” the network’s programming; however, it was quickly picked up and aired for the next 21 years, making Hee Haw the longest-running weekly syndicated original series in television history.

 usethisheehaw
In a new-to-retail set, Time Life is releasing Hee Haw: The Collector’s Edition offers 14 Hee-larious discs featuring some of the best sketches and brightest stars from the series’ impressive 23-year history, rarely seen since their original broadcasts.  Across 21 vintage hours, viewers can sit back and be entertained by korny klassics such as “PFFT! You Were Gone,” “Gordie’s General Store,” “Board Fence,” “Cornfield” and “Moonshiners”–as well as the all-time favorites “Rindercella” and “Trigonometry.”  And because Hee Haw was a favorite stop for country music’s biggest stars and legends, this must-have box set also features hundreds of classic performances from Hall of Famers at the peaks of their careers including Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings,  Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tanya Tucker and Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty and too many others to name.
Though the last “new” episode aired in 1992, this 14-disc collector’s edition perfectly captures the reasons why Hee Haw was one of the longest-running and best loved television variety shows of all time!
 
BONUS FEATURES
  • New interviews with show regulars including Roy Clark, Lulu Roman, George Lindsey, Charlie McCoy and Jim and John Hager
  • Additional bonus programming includes all-time favorite comedy from the early years in “Hee Haw Laffs,” featuring “Board Fence,” “Doctor Spot,” “Old Philosopher,” “Haystack,” “Schoolhouse” and other knee-slappers

“Bottersnikes & Gumbles” are ready to hit Netflix . . . get ready to g(r)umble!

Great things do come in small packages. Bottersnikes & Gumbles, a new award-winning CGI animated series, is set to make its U.S. and Canada debut with 26 episodes on August 19 on Netflix.  Full of action, suspense and laughs, each 11-minute episode is set to thrill the imaginations of kids . . . though we hear the show’s spokesperson suggests the small-screen sagas are for kids “aged 6 and older,” we think it’s perfect for kids of all ages!

image001 (1)Bottersnikes & Gumbles follows the adventures of three young Gumbles, Tink, Bounce and Willi,who love nothing better than to “gumble” all day long, which means crazy, stretchy capers around their junk valley, while carefully avoiding getting tin-canned by their lazy, grumpy neighbors the Bottersnikes, led by the foul tempered and vain Bottersnikes King.  Endless battles ensue involving plenty of stealth, trickery, daring rescues and narrow escapes as the Gumbles try to outwit the Bottersnikes in every episode.

Bottersnikes & Gumbles earned this year’s Pulcinella Award for Best Kids TV Series at the international animation festival, Cartoons on the Bay, in Venice and was nominated for a Logie Award in Australia for Most Outstanding Children’s Programme.

Bottersnikes & Gumbles has been developed and adapted from the characters and world as they first appeared in the much-loved Bottersnikes and Gumbles books by S.A. Wakefield, with illustrations by Desmond Digby. The books were published in the UK and Australia between 1967 and 1989.

https://youtu.be/EYiveYoismk

“I wonder if Sam Wakefield ever imagined this when he wrote the original books in the 1960s?,” asks Patrick Egerton, Executive Producer at Cheeky Little Media.  “Making this show, and bringing these much loved characters to life has been amazing.”

Adds Darren Price, Executive Creative Director, Mighty Nice: “The original books created a truly unique, often hilarious, fantasy world of imaginative creatures, personalities and situations. Taking it further with animation has been a hugely rewarding experience. Netflix viewers, get ready to gumble!”

 

 

A tiny Yorkie makes for huge fun in the animated adventure “Pup Star”

We’ve always known that August brings the dog days of summer, but we never knew they could be so, well, fetching.

On August 30, Air Bud Entertainment, the creators of Air Bud and Disney Air Buddies franchises, will release Pup Star, a canine-crammed spin on America’s hit TV singing competitions Loaded with music, including 13 original songs and the biggest cast of talking (and singing) pooches ever assembled, the all-new family film is the inspirational adventure of an adorable Yorkie pup, Tiny (voiced by Kaitlyn Maher), who finds herself on an action-packed cross-country journey to compete in the ultimate singing competition for dogs.

After she earns a place in the finale, Tiny is suddenly dog-napped! But with the help of her new friend, Charlie, a retired rock-and-roller, she escapes. Together they leave on an incredible journey through some of music’s most iconic cities. On the way to the competition they meet Big Ears—a soulful Basset Hound who teaches Tiny to belt out the 
blues; Murray—a spiritual shaggy dog who helps her find her inner rhythm; and Emily Rose—a country-singing shepherd who helps her learn to sing from her heart. Most important of all, they all encourage Tiny to believe in herself and never give up on her dreams!

Featuring an all-star celebrity judging panel including ‘Dog Gnarley’ (voiced by Ziggy Marley), “Blake Sheltie,” “Lady Paw Paw” and a loveable but always disagreeable “Simon Growl,” Pup Star showcases canine contestants including P-Diggy (voiced by Juicy J), “Bark” and the tall-hat wearing “Furrell.”

You can start barking the raves when the flick is released in select U.S. theaters and Digital HD exclusively on Fandango’s premium on-demand video service, FandangoNOW (FandangoNOW.com).  In Canada, the film will release September 17 (my bark-day) exclusively in Cineplex Cinemas as part of the complimentary “Family Favourites Premiere” programming with an additional special movie offer at the Cineplex Stores. The cat’s meow can be pre-ordered on FandangoNOW for $9.99 at fandangonow.com/pupstar.

We hear a sequel is already in the works!

“Charlie Brown’s All-Stars” returns for its golden anniversary celebration

It’s anything but peanuts. Charlie Brown’s All-Stars, the second primetime animated TV special based upon the popular Peanuts, originally aired on CBS on June 8, 1966.  The show, which earned two Primetime Emmy nominations, celebrates its golden anniversary this year. (It lost the Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Program to Hanna-Barbera’s Jack and the Beanstalk, starring Gene Kelly.) unnamedWarner Bros. Home Entertainment  honors the occasion by releasing this delightful story in a deluxe 50th anniversary edition, completely remastered in beautiful high definition. You have to wait until the release date of October 4, but remember one thing: Charlie Brown never gave up. And neither should you.

downloadCharlie Brown’s All Stars follows the bittersweet story of Charlie Brown, who won’t give up on trying to bring his baseball team to victory, in spite of facing great criticism from the team’s players. The DVD release is timed to the culmination of the World Series.

In Charlie Brown’s All Stars, it’s summer and baseball season gets underway. Charlie Brown is put in charge of managing the Peanuts’ baseball team again, which in the past, has only suffered crushing defeat from its opponents. The disillusioned players blame Charlie Brown for the team’s past poor performance. When a sponsor offers Charlie Brown real baseball uniforms and a chance to be part of an actual league, he is thrilled. He believes the new uniforms and acceptance into a real league will motivate his players.1463965330-1

His excitement however, soon turns into disappointment when he learns that if he accepts the offer, Snoopy, Lucy, Patty, Violet and Frieda will be kicked off the team because the league’s policy prevents girls and dogs from playing. Poor Charlie Brown, not only is he criticized by his teammates for being a bad manager, he’s now faced with a difficult moral dilemma. Should he accept the uniforms?

This one still scores big.

Reactorz offers hot new toys: Balls that becomes illuminated on contact

Proof that Sir Isaac Newton was on the ball.  COOP Sports offers so many ways for kids to get outside and move that’s there never an excuse . . . even if it’s dark! Their newest line is Reactorz, made with Reactive Light Technology, so a kicked soccer ball or a tossed football becomes illuminated on contact. Like Sir Newton’s law of motion, for every action–toss, throw, kick–there’s an equal and quite bright reaction when kids play with one of eight Reactorz products. From regulation-sized basketball and soccer to football (throws just like a real, regular football) and disc, these sporting goods are priced an allowance-friendly $5.99 to $19.99.REACTORZ ALL balls glow (1)

Imagine the added surprise to a kickball or four square game with the Reactorz 8-inch Playground Ball ($17.99). Built-in LEDs create a flash of light with each toss and catch. Textured, semi rigid construction makes the ball easy to grip, throw and kick. How does it work? Don’t look for the on/off switch because there isn’t one! Coop designers, prized for their attention to detail, took a whole year of product development to get this just right! The secret is the long-lasting battery life built in each ball, and the micro prism core that refracts light. Then they put their focus on the exterior. Each Reactorz boasts one of three core colors–Atomic (lime), Ice (blue) and Lava (red). Covering the balls is a contrasting shield color. The final result is like nothing else on the market.REACTORZ BASKETBALL_prodW_HR

Head a soccer ball as the sun is setting and your team mates might see one of three effects–Atomic Core/Plasma Shield, Lava Core/Laser Shield or Ice Core/Biogreen Shield. The flying disc is the exception with a color scheme of four swirls: Atomic Swirl, Laser Swirl, Atomic Tribal and Atomic Swirl. Reactorz doesn’t need to wait for the sun to go down as their LED lights dazzle brightly morning, noon or night. As the honchos explain: “The core refracts light while the shield blocks it, creating a unique lighting effect and interactive experience between the ball and players.”

Look for this collection at Toys R Us (in stores and online) and Academy Sports + Outdoors stores. All are designed for girls and boys ages 5 and up. Four of the items enjoy an under-$10 price tag.

Dolly Parton asking her poor fans to fork over hundred$ for “collectible” crap

She doesn’t work 9 to 5 . . . according to her flaks, “without a doubt, Dolly Parton continues to be one of the most aggressive artists in music when it comes to marketing themselves.” This time, Dolly is spreading herself as thinly as she can as she prepares for the August 19 release of her new CD Pure & Simple–with four different pre-order bundles to help promote the album.

“I may not be pure, but I’m as simple as they come!”she coos. “This new Pure & Simple project is really special to me because I’m taking my fans back to my roots. I feel like these songs have a pure, tender side and we didn’t go overboard with arrangements. I’m so glad we’ve teamed up with our friends at Sony to get this album out to the fans.” Spoken just like a well-seasoned, well-paid press flak.

Dolly should be ashamed that in this economic market, she knows her fans cannot fork over hundreds of $ for such crap.

Pure & Simple Standard Bundle

Standard Bundle ($40) Pure & Simple album cover art on black 100% preshrunk cotton T-shirt, Pure & Simple CD, as well as an album digital download that will be delivered via email on August 19.

Pure & Simple Deluxe Bundle

Deluxe Bundle ($60) Pure & Simple CD, as well as digital download of the album (to be delivered via email on August 19), a set of three notebooks with different Dolly logo designs (each notebook measures a measly 3.5″ x 5.5″) and a rhinestone and lace Dolly tote bag.

Pure & Simple Collectible Bundle

Collectible Bundle ($100) Pure & Simple CD, as well as a digital download of the album (delivered via email on August 19), a Dolly guitar string bracelet and gift box, the set of three notebooks and the Rhinestone and lace Dolly tote bag.

Pure & Simple Commemorative Bundle

Commemorative Bundle ($400) Pure & Simple CD, as well as a digital download of the album (will be delivered via email on August 19), as well as the Dolly guitar string bracelet and gift box, the three notebooks, the rhinestone and lace Dolly photo tote bag and a “Collectible Limited Edition” plaque commemorating the release of Dolly’s new album Pure & Simple.

Cohen Media Group celebrates two newly-restored Philippe de Broca gems on

We have praised the work of Cohen Media Group since 2008 when it was founded by Charles S. Cohen, an executive producer of multiple Academy Award nominee Frozen River. The Group produces and distributes select films throughout North America; CMG’s Cohen Film Collection (formerly the Rohauer Collection) includes some 700 cinema landmarks, including films by D.W. Griffith, Buster Keaton, Douglas Fairbanks and Luis Bunuel and Federico Fellini.
On-Guard-1997-film-images-f1db526e-f437-4605-8687-2f6e284375d
On August 9, the Group releases two newly-restored films by Philippe de Broca, known for That Man From Rio and King of Hearts. On Guard is a swashbuckling, action-packed adventure in which it takes cavalier Lagardère 16 years to avenge his friend the Duke of Nevers, who was assassinated by the Duke’s cousin and only known heir.  Whew! Sixteen years to assert the triumph of morality, protect the true heir, save honor . . .  and find love.

In Five Day Lover, Jean Seberg brings all of her considerable coquettish charm to the role of Claire, a young mother married to Georges, but also having an affair with bachelor Antoine, who is being kept by her good friend Madeleine, a wealthy fashion designer. But the meetings at Antoine’s apartment, five afternoons a week, come to a halt when their partners learn the truth.

 

An alien-eyed pussycat? A man eating sheep poop? Yes sir . . . Believe It or Not!

There’s a way of getting teens, tweens and reluctant readers to devour a book . . . believe it or not! The key? Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Unlock the Weird! ($28.95), the newest and perhaps oddest book in the bestselling series from Ripley Publishing.
bookcovrt
The book is a mind-blowing collection of fantastic, fun, and even freaky stories from around the world. Sections include Animals, Pop Culture, Feats, Art, Food, and Beyond Belief. What they all have in common is that they’re all true and handpicked by Ripley’s Believe It or Not!—the authority on all things unusual and incredible!
Alien-Eyes-Cat-1-300x300
Here are some of the stories that await readers when they Unlock the Weird!
• Read about one man’s attempt to take a break from reality, spending three days climbing the Swiss Alps on all fours as a goat!
• Soar on jetpacks above the deserts of Dubai with breathtaking aerial imagery.
• Meet Birdman Ted Richards who had his ears removed and his face and eyeballs tattooed to look like his pet parrots!
• Savor the flavor of sheep dung spitting, an Irish event that is just as unappetizing as it sounds!
Sheep-Dung-1-300x210
•  See double with Twin Strangers’ Niamh Geaney, who has found multiple doppelgängers that look exactly like her!
Weasel-and-Pecker-1-300x200

To life! “9 Months That Made You” chronicles human gestation

As Zorba the Greek liked to sing . . .

Life is what you do while you’re waiting to die,

Life is how the time goes by!
Life is where you wait while you’re waiting to leave,
Life is where where you grin and grieve!

But what about the “9 Months That Made You”?  This three-part PBS program takes viewers through the astonishing journey of human gestation and its minute-by-minute genetic process. Told through a series of personal stories that introduce viewers to people born with surprising and unexpected differences, the program explores just how complex the human gestational process truly is. The riveting documentary will be available on DVD from PBS Distribution August 2; the program will also be available for digital download.

With the help of CGI, the program goes inside the womb to re-create the growth process of a fetus and explains how genetics can cause fascinating and unexpected mutations. In the initial episode, “The First 8 Weeks,” for example, viewers meet a family in Brazil whose multi-generational genetic mutation has caused half of them to grow six digits on each hand. Later, the series visits professional surfer Laird Hamilton, whose extreme sense of fearlessness is actually a genetic trait he may have passed on to his children.

Below are descriptions for each of the three episodes.

“The First 8 Weeks”
Follow the story of how a fertilized egg acquires individual traits through the gestation process. Chart the metamorphosis from the various embryonic forms you once took on until the moment around 12 weeks when you became unmistakably human.

“One of a Kind”
Learn how you became the unique individual you are. No two people—even “identical” twins—are identical. Through riveting examples, explore how your face was shaped, why you’re likely to be right-handed, even how your sexuality formed.

“The Final Countdown”
Meet the miracle that is you. See how your time in the womb, as your senses mature, has determined your destiny on the outside. Survey the latest epigenetic research that shows how the womb environment leaves its mark, even altering your DNA.

Watch, digest and leave Zorba on his own.

“Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made” finally hits Blu-ray/DVD

“I hate snakes! I hate ’em!”

And so said Indiana Jones a few times in the 1981 hit Raiders of the Lost Ark. We may hate snakes, but three 11-year-old boys from Mississippi loved Indy and the film so much that after Steven Spielberg’s classic was released 35 years ago, they set out on what would become a 7-year-long labor of love and tribute to their favorite film: A faithful, shot-for-shot adaptation of the action adventure film, which The New York Times calls “a testament to the transporting power of movie love.” They finished every scene . . . except one; the film’s explosive airplane set piece.

Drafthouse Films and MVD Entertainment will release Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack on August 16.

More than two decades later, the trio reunited with the original cast members from their childhood in order to complete their masterpiece in what IGN has dubbed “the Boyhood of fan movies.” Featuring interviews with John Rhys Davies, Eli Roth and more, Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made is just that: The story of this long-gestating project’s culmination, chronicling the friends’ dedication to their artistic vision-mixed in with some movie magic-to create a personal, epic love letter to a true modern classic.
unnamed (1)
Tim Skousen and Jeremy Coon’s critically-acclaimed documentary (Certified Fresh by Rotten Tomatoes with a 93% rating and an Audience Score of 92%) premiered at SXSW in 2015 and enjoyed a healthy festival campaign before its debut in theaters and On Demand. At the same time, film subjects Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala embarked on the multi-city “Follow Your Dreams Tour”, presenting Skousen and Coon’s film alongside their rarely-screened Adaptation, which will continue into September.
Special features include more than four hours on bonus content such as dual audio commentary tracks (with Skousen and Coon as well as Strompolos and Zala); deleted scenes from the documentary; outtakes from Adaptation, Q&A footage from the Adaptation‘s 2003 premiere at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX;, a photo booklet featuring storyboard art from the Adaptation and a free HD digital copy of the film.
Harrison Ford is not included, but we’re not saying anything about snakes . . .

Petrucelli Picks the best in books, music and film . . . and then some